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Examples of Primary Sources in QCAT:

  • Primary sourcebook series: The Cold War (D839.3 .C55 2006) -- The Holocaust (D804.19 .H55 2006)
  • Milestone Documents in World History -- Milestone Documents in American History (online in QCAT)
  • Canadian heritage collection: Search this title as a series in QCAT for all 24 titles in the set 
  • Canadian sources: investigated - 1914 to the present: new text FC170 .C387 2008 with teacher's guide
  • Hells’corner: An illustrated history of Canada’s Great War, 1914-1918: D547.C2 G72 2004
  • The last good war: An illustrated History of Canada in the Second World War, 1939-1945: D768.15 G728
  • Great Canadian speeches: PN4055.C2 G74t 2004
  • Great Canadian political cartoons (v.1. 1820-194, v.2 1915-1945v. 3 1946-1982) : FC173 .H69
  • e-book: Our Documents: 100 Milestone Documents from the National Archives (founding to 1965, including the Declaration of Independence)
  • Canada: A portrait in letters 1800-2000 / Charlotte Gray: F1003 .C25 2003
  • The book of war letters : 100 years of private Canadian correspondence: FC25 .B66 2005
  • Front lines from the battle front to the home front : original commemorative coverage of the second world war : a special 112-page newspaper

Lesson Ideas for Primary Sources

Library and Archives Canada Evidence Web | Defining Primary and Secondary Sources

Historical Thinking Project from Canadian Heritage. See Lesson section.

Veteran’s Affairs Canada for free Remembrance Day materials

Memory Project Digital Archive | CBC Archives

Library Archives in Canada

Dictionary of Canadian Biography: over 8,400 freely accessible biographies of people who have played a role in Canadian history and thematic presentations on the War of 1812, the Prime Ministers of Canada in wartime and the First World War.

Ontario History Quest (Ontario Archives): Based on primary documents in the Ontario Archives from 1820s to 1970s

Ontario Time Machine: thirty books from Ontario’s early years

Canada Year Book Historical Collection:
Historical data 1867-1967 with text, tables, charts and maps, and learning resources for students and teachers

Historica: Canadian history, geography, and culture; teacher resources, biographies, and Heritage Minutes.

Wartime Canada | Canada and the Cold War

Media Literacy

Media construction of presidential campaigns: JK524 S64 2006

Presidential Campaign Commericals 1952-2012

Letters and Narratives

Holocaust Survivor stories (downloadable):  also in print

History Trek: http://historytrek.ca/ (portal co-designed by Grade 6 students and researchers)

Canadiana.org Discovery Portal:  30 collections Fr/E postcards to sheet music

Canadian Letters:

Canadiana.org: and Early Canadiana Online (ECO): A digital library providing access to 3 million pages of Canada's printed heritage. It features works published from the time of the first European settlers up to the early 20th Century.

Canada in the Making: This site focuses on the history of Canada through the words of the men and women who shaped the nation. Built around the Government Documents collection of the Early Canadiana Online collection, it integrates narrative text with links to primary texts.

Images and Photographs

Canada United States International
Canadian War Poster Collection
Descriptions, artist index, and an essay. Click “Menu” for specific categories.
American Memory: Photographs
65 collections provide photographs, prints and posters.
United Nations History Project
The Champlain Society Digital Collection
Eighty-three volumes of journals, narratives and papers with some illustrations and photographs relating to exploration and discovery over a span of three centuries of Canadian history.
World War II Poster Collection
During World War II, the United States government crafted hundreds of different posters to promote military service and the conservation of natural resources This collection includes digitized 338 of these posters. 
Gallica: Digital Library of the National Library of France
80, 000 images and books, manuscripts, maps, periodicals, scores and sound recordings. 
  Documenting the American South
Government documents, personal diaries, religious pamphlets, books, some photographs, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews and songs. Focus on struggle for human rights and freedom in the 18th, 19th and 20th century. See K-12 >> Lesson plans.
Digital Library of Canada: History
Collections of diaries, photographs and other government documents on themes of art & photography, aboriginal people, ethno-cultural groups, exploration and settlement, military & peace-keeping and politics & government.
Early Encounters in North America: Peoples, Cultures and the Environment Contains over 1400 authors and over 100, 000 pages of primary works such as letters, diaries, memoirs and accounts as well as images of early encounters.  German History in Documents and Images (GHDI)
Germany's political, social, and cultural history from 1500 to the present. Original texts, with English translations
Images Canada
Provides central search access to the thousands of images held on the websites of participating Canadian cultural institutions
NYPL Digital Gallery
Open access to 700,000 images  including manuscripts, posters, vintage posters, maps, photographs and rare prints.
 Moving Here, Staying Here: The Canadian Immigrant Experience
Includes voyage diaries, letters, posters, printed advertisements and pamphlets, and passenger lists that document the experience of Canadian immigrants from 1800s-1930.
Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000
Document projects that include 1,800 documents, approximately 740 images (photographs and illustrations) and over 600 links to other websites. The documents focus on women and the social movements during 1600-2000.

Historical Newspapers

Search the title of each newspaper or collection in QCAT then search within by date or subject.

  • The Globe and Mail - Canada's Heritage: 1844-2002
  • New York Times [Full-text]: 1851- (excluding latest 2 years)
  • The Times Digital Archive: 1785-1985 Toronto Star -- Pages of the Past: 1894-2004
  • Libris Canadiana: Early Canadian magazines
  • Connecting Canadians: Canada’s Multicultural Newspapers : http://www.connectingcanadians.org (early newspapers in their original language)

Other Comprehensive Sources

The following reputable sites link to thousands of primary sources.


Last Updated: 27 March 2014

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